Vehicles provide transportation options
The Metropolitan King County Council today unanimously approved sending more than two dozen eager King County “retirees” to new careers of helping transport county residents. The Council adopted a motion transferring retired Metro Vanpool vans to provide transportation assistance to local governments, community programs, senior citizens and young people.
“Recycling retired vanpool vans for use by local service organizations ensures that our community is getting the maximum value out of these vehicles,” said Council Chair Larry Phillips. “Vans that are no longer cost effective for Metro to operate will allow non-profits to provide transportation to low-income works to jobsites, transport kids to afterschool programs and deliver seniors to community services.”
“These van transfers repurpose County vehicles so that agencies supporting our youth, elderly and other underserved populations get connected to the vital community services they need,” said Council Vice Chair Jane Hague.
“Repurposing these vans for our community is a great use of our capital investments,” said Council Vice Chair Joe McDermott, chair of the Council’s Budget and Fiscal Management Committee.
The retired vans have been part of Metro Transit’s vanpool fleet for at least six years and have reached the end of their service life. When the vans reach this age, they are considered surplus. The vehicles that are not donated are sold.
“The community agencies and organizations receiving these vans are helping ‘bridge the gap’ for those groups with limited transportation options,” said Councilmember Larry Gossett. “These vehicles will play a vital role in getting people to a medical appointment or taking kids on a field trip.”
“I am pleased that this program I started is continuing to donate vans to local worthy agencies which support our youth, elderly, and underrepresented populations,” said Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer. “I’m especially excited about the vans that will be used by several outstanding organizations in south King County to provide aid to at-risk youth.”
“Donating King County’s used vans is such a great way of assisting worthy non-profit organizations across the county,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert. “These organizations do so much with their limited budgets. A donated van helps extend their services to citizens and assist more people in need without additional expense.”
“By transferring retired vans to these worthy organizations, we are providing important tools that allow them to better serve the residents of King County,” said Councilmember Reagan Dunn.
“This is such a magnificent opportunity to help programs that help others,” said Councilmember Dave Upthegrove. “It is comforting to know that these vans will continue to be of use across the county.”
Since 1996, the County Council has transferred more than 460 retired vans from Metro’s Vanpool program to local nonprofit organizations to provide transportation for the disabled, low-income, young adults, and senior citizens. Governments, agencies and organizations that receive the vans must meet specific requirements:
• Capacity to support ongoing van operation, including assured funding for licensing, insuring, fueling and maintaining the van;
• Ability to provide qualified and trained drivers;
• Specific plans for use of the van to transport low-income, elderly or young people or people with disabilities, and assurance that the use shall be available to those persons without regard to affiliation with any particular organization;
• Ability to support county's public transportation function by reducing single occupancy vehicle trips, pollution and traffic congestion; supplementing services provided by the county's paratransit system and increasing the mobility for the transit-dependent for whom regular transit might not always be a convenient option.
The vanpool program provides mobility for a diverse array of King County residents, supports the positive work of various local organizations, and relieves traffic congestion by reducing the need for single-occupancy vehicles. Interested organizations can contact the Councilmember representing their district for more information on applying for a vehicle.
The organizations, agencies and governments receiving vans:
Aki Kurose Middle School
A PLUS Youth Program (2 vans)
Auburn Youth Resources
Boys & Girls Clubs of King County Kirkland Branch
Boys & Girls Clubs of King County Ron Sandwith Branch
City of Des Moines
Community Schools Collaboration
Real Life Church
Redmond/Sammamish Boys & Girls Club
Salvation Army - Eastside
Seattle Urban Squash
Sno-Valley Senior Center
Southwest Youth & Family Services
Tahoma School District – Transition Program
The Millionair Club Charity
Tierra Madre Fund
Valley Cities Counseling
Vine Maple Place
Young Women Empowered (Y-WE)